Amid the electric vehicle push that the government has been giving to the auto industry in India, there has always been a lingering question, which so far has been answered only in uncertain terms. The question is about the entry of pioneer company of electric cars – Tesla – in India. The question might just have a slightly certain answer now as the founder and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk stated at the ‘SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition 2019’ that Tesla may make an official entry into the country sometime next year. Musk was speaking to IIT Madras students at the aforementioned event.
However, Musk has made several such statements in the past. If this one is to be believed, Tesla’s entry into the Indian market will rely heavily upon the Model 3 car of the brand. The Model 3 is the entry level offering by Tesla and has earned accolades for its performance world over. The sales numbers for Model 3 have also been encouraging for the company as the car has gone ahead and outsold every other car by the maker so far. This means that the Model 3 is selling in good volumes, something that the company so desperately needs for its survival. As far as India is concerned, some bookings have been made from here as well, but there has been no development of the elivery front so far. Tesla’s supposed entry into the Indian market could mean that the deliveries may take place earlier than expected.
Earlier there even were talks about Tesla setting up a factory in India, but nothing came of that and the US giant is now under processes to set up a huge factory in neighbouring country China. This could prove pivotal for the company as it’d be easier for the US based carmaker to import vehicles into India from China. However, owing to the lack of any setup by the company in India so far, even an entry into India in late 2020 would mean that the cars will come here via the Completely Built Unit route, at least initially. This would in turn push the prices of Tesla’s car upwards. Musk had also tweeted about the entry of the US brand in Indian market in 2019 or 2020, but the latest statement from the Tesla CEO hints at the fact that it is going to be the latter.
Talking of Model 3, the model expected to hit Indian markets, if and when Tesla makes its entry in India, it is priced at $45,000. The CBU route that the car will take will peg the price of the Model 3 at somewhere near Rs. 65 lakhs. This would mean that the entry level car of Tesla will still be treated as a luxury model in Indian market. The Model 3 itself comes with a 386 kilometre range with a long range model coming with a range of 500 kilometres. The naught to zero time for the Model 3 is just 5 seconds and it comes with Tesla’s fast charge technology, so a luxury price tag should not upset potential customers that much as there are already a few people who have taken the private import route to bring the car to India.